I posted this on the BluebirdBanter site but thought some people here might enjoy it since it concerns some of the higher rated draftees and international signees from 2011.
Not sure how many of you have the big ten network as part of their cable package but I watched a part of an exhibition game between the Michigan State Spartans and the Lansing Lugnuts. I started watching it in the 6th inning but got a look at some decent Jays prospects. Here's what I saw:
Robert Osuna was pitching in the 7th inning, first appearance as a Jay so that was a treat. His fastball was minimum 92, and topped out at 94. He also showed what looked liked a slider around 83-84, that had good movement on it but he definitely didn't have very good control over it the 3-4 times he threw it. He did hit a batter and was a little wild with his fastball as well. In the end he struck out the side, two of the batters on three straight pitches, he definitely looked impressive and seems like a nice international signing for the Jays. The only complaint I have is the herky jerky movement he has with his arm when pitching, otherwise he has a high leg kick and high three quarter delivery.
Another treat was seeing Daniel Norris pitch the 8th inning. Also first appearance for the Jays since he was drafted. He's a thin lanky kid with a low three quarters delivery. His fastball was 88-91 and sat 89 consistently. He also threw a lot of curveballs, all around 71 mph, they were a bit loopy but looked pretty good for an 18 year old and did in fact strike out two batters with it, one looking and one swinging. He also had better command of his curve than he did with his fastball which was thrown high and outside the strike zone. His delivery is smooth but slightly inconsistent as he fell off the mound a couple of times. He does however look to push off the mound well in his delivery. The other out recorded was a high fastball hit to the wall and caught by Chris Hawkins. Overall I was more impressed with what Osuna came to the table with, but that's not to say Norris looked bad, he also looked quite good.
Aarron Sanchez pitched early, Jesse Hernandez after, those are the innings I missed.
In the 9th inning, surprise surprise, Kevin Comer comes in for the Lugnuts. He has a high leg kick with a high three quarter delivery. His delivery was kind of in stages, started with the leg kick, planted, then whipped the arm to deliver the pitch, not all that smooth, but I'm sure he can work on that. His FB was between 89 and 93, sitting 90-91, had decent control of it and hit the bottom of the zone well. Threw a curve/slurve type pitch that was between 76-79, had good control of it and could see it being a plus pitch eventually. Overall looked to have decent control with two good offerings.
I got a look at Kellen Sweeney at bat, he took a walk and was pretty patient at the plate, didn't get a very good look at this swing or anything, but looked smooth to me. Came up in the 7th again, wide open stance to begin, closes when the pitch is thrown, stands tall with hands held high. Hit a big fly ball foul, nice quick swing with a lot of pop to it, then took another walk, his line was 1-1, 2 walks, single.
In the 7th, Jon Berti came up, noticed he is rather small. He was hit by a pitch and then forced out at second, he did have good speed on the basepaths though. Came up again in the 7th, hit a bobbler through the infield when it was moved in, two run single, though not a very good hit, did advance to third on a bad pickoff attempt, again showing some good speed on the bases.
Chris Hawkins flew out in his first three at bats and grounded out in his 4th. I got a good look at his 4th at bat, has a slightly open stance and hands held shoulder high. When swinging he didn't show very good mechanics as he was mostly using his hands and slashing at the ball.
Chino Vega is another batter in the seventh, and another small player. Works with a slightly open stance and his hands held high. Had a single over the SS, looked to be all hands on that hit and not much hip.
Markus Brisker singled in the 7th but didn't get a good look at him either, first pitch swinging resulted in a single in the 7th.
Kenny Wilson struck out looking in the 6th on an outside fastball, then doubled in two runs in the 7th with a groundball the other way, on a pretty weak hit, was only a double because of his speed. Looking at his stats and his performance, doesn't look like anything special, although we already knew that.
The game itself was 0-0 going into the 7th when Lansing broke out and scored seven runs to go up 7-0, which ended up being the final score. I was most impressed with Robert Osuna, pitched well beyond his years and I look forward to seeing how he'll progress. The two top pitches drafted last year also looked good, but like most guys there age, lack consistency.
Hope you enjoyed my observations